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Washington 19, Us 16, Amy Kremer 16, America 11, Benghazi 6, Romney 4, Kentucky 4, Shelly 3, George Bush 3, Feinstein 3, Brennan 3, Obama 3, U.s. 3, Petraeus 3, Massachusetts 3, Josh Gerstein 2, Jim Clapper 2, Woodrow Wilson 2, Alabama 2, Paul 2,
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  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    November 10, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00pm EST  

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has to come up with their own model which will drive calf two what we're calling it t second america fund two and i think that's where all the energy needs to be put. that's where the biggest bang for the buck will be in our business. because as we these minor changes in the financials of telephone companies across the country, it was so important we do these things coincidentally. we have one done very effectively. it is happening in real time. it is showing up in the numbers today. it is about the consumer. >> jeff gardner is president and ceo of the windstream corporation and chairman of the u.s. telecom trade association. he has been our guest on "the communicators."
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gentleman, thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> 2013 should be the year we begin to solve entitlement reform. i am proposing we avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us. >> i am open to compromise. i am open to new ideas. i am committed to solving our fiscal challenge. but i refuse to accept any approach that is not balanced. i am not going to ask students and seniors and middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me, making over $250,000, are not asked to pay more in taxes. >> congress starts work in january but the current congress
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has work to do through the end of the year referred to as a lame duck session. work is expected on the impending fiscal cliff, including the expiration of the bush era tax cuts, raising the debt ceiling, and planned cuts to domestic and military spending. it starts at tuesday 2:00 p.m. eastern with coverage on c-span and the seat -- and the senate on c-span2. host: amy kremer is chairman of the tea party express and is here to talk to us about the tea party and the future of the republican party. welcome to the "washington journal."
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guest: thanks for having me. i'm happy to be here. host: we've got an article here from the "christian science monitor" with the headline, "will the tea party compromise"" he writes, tea partiers may be more amenable to an agreement on tax revenues now that the electorate has signaled it doesn't especially like what the tea party has been up to. he goes on to say, if there's a mandate in yesterday's results, said speaker john boehner on yesterday, it's a mandate to find a way for us to work together. republicans, he said, are willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions to get a bipartisan agreement over the budget. your thoughts about what robert reich had to say and what the speaker is saying. guest: well, you know, i think that we need to find some common ground. obviously we're facing this fiscal cliff, so we have to find some common ground. everybody's talking about revenue, nobody's talking about cutting. that's really what we need to be focusing on, because you can tax people into oblivion. at the end of the day, you're going to run out of their money, and you've got to cut the spending. you can't tax enough to cover the spending. so i want to hear about the cutting as well, and i think that's probably what most people, you know, in the tea party movement, they would agree with me on. but what i will say is that while, you know, he says that
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the electorate is not happy with what the tea party movement has been up to, i have to say that our approval numbers, we have more support than congress does. so, you know, i don't think that going after the tea party on this is -- i mean, it's not the right thing to do. all we want is for washington to live within their means. host: give us your thoughts regarding the outcome of tuesday's election. disappointed about the re- election of the president, but beyond that, talk to us a little bit about how you think the tea party influenced the election one way or the other. guest: well, i mean, i was obviously disappointed, not only in the presidential race, but the senate. i expected us to take back the senate. obviously we didn't. but, you know, we are going to
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keep moving forward and trying to hold washington accountable, and as i said, you know, get washington to live within their means. when families and businesses across this country are having to balance their budgets and not spend more than they take in, it's not unacceptable to expect the same of our federal government. so while we are disappointed, it doesn't mean, you know, that we're going to give up and go away. we're still here. we're not going anywhere. as a matter of fact, i think it's probably going to strengthen the movement. host: in this morning's "wall street journal," top ohio republicans ask why the party lost, failed voter turnout, a surge of african-americans at the poll, and a lack of love for the candidates cited as explanations. pick any one of those three and talk to me about your feelings about what they're saying and what effect, if any, the tea party may have had on one of those three, either a failed voter turnout, surge of african-americans at the poll, or a lack of love for governor romney from the republicans.
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guest: well, you know, in terms of the lack of love, i wouldn't say that it's specifically romney. i would say people are fed up with the republican party. that's one of the reasons the tea party movement was born, because it was frustration and anger with both parties, but especially the republican party. and so, if there's anything we've heard over the past several days since tuesday, it's that people are tired of the moderate stance of the republican party and, you know, they want true change. they want true fiscal conservatives. and so i think probably that had some impact on it. host: we're talking with amy kremer, chairman of the tea party express, about the tea party and its future, also the future. republican party moving forward. and we want to get you all
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involved in the conversations. the number is 202-585-3880 for democrats. 202-585-3881 for republicans. independents, 202-585-3882. theou're calling outside u.s., 585-3883. you can also reach us via social media on twitter, facebook, or even send us an email. our first call for amy kremer comes from shelly in alabama. she's on our line for democrats. go ahead, shelly. shelly, are you there? caller: hello. hi, everyone. guest: hi. caller: my -- i'm calling from my state, georgia, is republican, but the tea party, i know it came about after obama, president obama's election. it was the first time.
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i just don't understand why we all can't get together. i know that america is based on individuality and people wanting to have a piece of the pie, but why -- it just appears that the tea party is so divisive, and i don't understand that. you know, sometimes it appears that since president obama has become president, that i've never seen so much disrespect for the office of president. oip amy kremer? guest: well, thanks for your comment, shelly, and i would to say we're not divisive. i mean, we've gone after republicans and democrats alike. we are an issues-oriented movement, focused on fiscal responsibility, limited government, free markets. that's all we're focused on. and as i said before, we want washington to live within their means. so, you know, it's not that we're here just to challenge the democrats.
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it,e here, and we've done we've primaried republicans before. so i don't think that expecting our federal government and our state and local governments to live within their means is very divisive. i think that that is something that is absolutely reasonable and that all americans should expect of our government. host: next up is larry calling from canton, massachusetts. he's on our line for republicans. go ahead, larry. caller: good morning. hi, amy. i can respect some of the thoughts of the tea party, and she's right, we should start to live within our means. but the same time, you must look at the situation that president obama has dealt with. you know, you just can't say across the board that there should be no taxes. and also, for the future of the g.o.p., if you look at what cost him the election, if you're not inclusive of everybody, of everybody, you just can't win anymore.
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i just think the tea party has some merit, as do black republicans, and also someone making over $200,000, small business in massachusetts, we're doing very well, thank you, but they have merit. so somehow i hope we're going to come together and sit down and say, ok, what can we do to keep us within our means, but the same time, i also support the country and picking on the debt, balls i got kids, so i agree with amy to some degree, because i can also a republican as well. host: layer any massachusetts. amy kremer? guest: look, i mean, i am in no way -- and i think every tea partier out there would say we are not, you know, we're not -- we understand that we have to pay some taxes. i mean, we have an infrastructure. i mean, there are things that have to be paid for. but you cannot continue to tax people and continue the
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spending, because like i said, you're going to run out of other people's money. why can washington not cut the spending? i mean, they are up here with our credit card just spending, spending, spending, and this debt is going on the backs of our children and our grandchildren and all future generations. i mean, at some point you have to cut the spending. host: next up is paul in elizabethtown, kentucky, on our line for independents. paul, you're on the "washington journal" with amy kremer, chairman of the tea party express. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i was going to ask you a question. how come the republican party sign something -- you know, they pledge to one person -- how can you do that? it is nothing but a lobbyist. guest: i'm sorry. i didn't --
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caller: i talk about grover norquist. all the republicans, they signed this pledge to him, who is he? he's nothing but a lobbyist. host: all right, paul in elizabethtown, kentucky. your thoughts about grover norquist and the pledge that he asked folks in congress to sign, about not raising taxes. guest: well, i mean, i think that he, you know, is right there with me, that, you know, at some point we have to cut the spending. you know, why are we talking about taxing more, you know, individuals, americans that are citizens? closingt we talk about some of these corporate tax loopholes so that these big corporations will pay taxes? that would generate some revenue. there are other ways to generate revenue, but when all you do is go out there and talk about raising taxes on the rich, number one, it's creating this class warfare, and it's going to affect the business community, the small businesses. and so i think we need to do a
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better job at educating people on how the economy works. i mean, i'm learning stuff every day. i'm certainly not an economist, and i don't fully understand it at all, but, you know, there are small businesses that pay income taxes and, you know, if we go and we tax them as individuals, it's going to take money out of their business and, you know, they may have to lay people off. i mean, they may not be able to hire people. i mean, it's a huge -- the economy is very complex, but at the end of the day, like i said, you cannot -- i mean, you're going to run out of other people's money. host: according to this chart we have from the new york daily news and the tax policy center, the president is talking about ending subsidies for the oil industry in claims it would raise $40 billion. is this something that he party could live with?
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guest: i do not know. everything is on the table right now. like i said before, we have to find some common ground because we cannot continue down this road. so, you know, it is something that i have not seen that, but we need to, we have to put everything on the table and look at it all and hopefully find some common ground because this is the thing, we have to stop playing party politics. it is like the media, and i have said several times, the media wants to put the republicans and democrats into a boxing ring and see who comes out the winner. we need to find a common ground where americans win, where we put this country back on the path to prosperity so we remain the shining city on the help. and people back to work, create a pro-growth environment. party politics got this into this mess. host: our next call for amy
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kremer comes from ronald in canton, ohio. caller: i want to say that the president wants to raise taxes on the rich and the businesses, not the business, the rich to pay their fair share. one thing i will say, all of this time during the campaign, all the businesses and rich folks, they spend all of this money toward the campaign for mitt romney and yet they do not want to pay their fair share. that does not make any sense. they spent all of that money and now they say we cannot do that. they just spent a billion dollars. think how much that would have helped the country to get better, but they say we do not want to do that. give me an answer on that. guest: look, the democrats spent a billion dollars, too.
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i think $6 billion was spent in the election. you know, i think that is two different subjects. the money that is spent in the campaigns verses people paying taxes, i do not think either one of them have anything to do with each other and that is what happens in campaigns. most people understand money is involved in politics. that is the way politics is. host: amy kremer is the chairman of the tea party express and is talking to us about that the party moving forward in the future and republican party prior to the fall of 2008, amy kremer had never been involved in politics. she was one of the original teanders of the atlantia party. phillys is calling from alabama. caller: good morning.
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thank you, i was calling because i wanted to encourage the republican party and i wanted to tell them to stay on principle. the campaign the democrats ran was so low. i do not think romney lost because of tax issues. i think they characterized him in such a way, they scared a lot of people. they are really, they really trashed him. i think he was a good candidate. i think he was a compassionate man. with the way they ran their campaign, he scared a lot of people. half of the country did not vote for obama. he does not have a mandate on anything. it was not about prejudice. it was about principle in performance and his performance has been poured. the fed did not perform, whether he was black or white, he needed
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to leave. guest: thank you for your comment. i have to agree with her that, the president has not, he has not lived up to people wanted him to live up to. i agree there is no mandate. half of america did not support him. if anything, it shows we are a divided country. but, at and president obama, understood the fiscal crisis we were facing when he took office in 2008. he promised to pay down the deficit in half in his first term. not only did he not pay it down, he double that. what people do not -- either they do not remember or understand, his first two years in office, and he had a democrat senate and house. he could have done anything he wanted. he did not focus on that. instead, they crammed obamacare
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down our throats. he was reelected but the polling showed, going into this election, people were concerned about jobs in the economy. exit polling shows there were concerned about jobs and the economy in the number was 52% of americans do not think the country is going in the right direction. that tells me people voted on likability and personality and policy. i think we need to do a better job educating people on how the economy works and what is going on here because this is not good for america. host: in the wall street journal, there is an interview and the headline is, we have a coke for mandate not to raise taxes. they quote the senator from kentucky sang, let me put it clearly, i am not willing to raise taxes to turn off the
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sequester. washington faces a huge tax increase and an automatic spending cut known as the sequester, which could tip the economy back into depression. obama is likely to take his tax the rich case to the people. i remind the political pressure to capitulate could become intense. are you an agreement with the senator from kentucky, that this is not a mandate to raise taxes and if they cannot come to a compromise, they should go ahead with the sequestered? guest: well, i said before, i do not think raising taxes is the answer that we need to talk about cutting the spending. i do not know -- what the answer is. on the sequestered, i heard
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somebody say either on cnn or fox that without the spending, and our gdp would be 1.3%. our economy is anemic. we cannot -- we need to do things that are necessary, get rid of these regulations and put some -- you know, lower taxes. and let these corporations put these -- we need policies, you cannot, businesses do not operate on twelvemonth plans. they operate on three, five-year plans. there is no confidence in washington sure yet you have businesses sitting on a bunch of cash and are not spending it, not hiring because there is no confidence in washington. they do not know what is going to happen next. they do not know what their tax rate is going to be. we need to focus on policies and
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create a pro-growth environment so these businesses will have confidence in washington and they will invest in their organizations and hire people. you cannot -- we are never going to create a pro-growth environment when, you know, they are doing things on twelvemonth plans. it is not acceptable. and the defense department, look at what happened in -- we have to protect ourselves. we were attacked on 9/11 to three >> one was there a time in our history where what was going on in washington guaranteed someone going into business that it would be a success? and the success was not -- not based on the performance of the business or the ability of the person who had the business to sell the product or service he was putting out to?
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>> when in history has that happened? i would say -- that is not the way. host: i am selling ahead and take that chance. guest: there is no confidence. and we have seen that this week with the number of businesses that have announced layoffs and wall street, you know, there is no confidence here. there is no confidence in what is going on here. washington should not choose winners and losers. that is not their place. that is one of the reasons we had a problem with the bottle
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bailout. washington should not choose winners or losers. that is what america's about. that is why people start businesses. it is the land of opportunity. you work hard, you do what is right, you are successful. and you are rewarded for that. washington should not be picking winners and losers. >> with continues -- let's continue our discussion with amy kremer. our next call fr. caller: thank you for taking my call. the supreme court ruling on political contributions, it allowed the tea party over these blind contributions. i believe those are tax deductible. what is the black membership for the tea party?
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i see most of those members are birthers. i think it is a racist organization. guest: that is nothing further from our truth. he was an african-american and he has been with us since the beginning. there is plenty of african americans out there and there are plenty of hispanics. he is a young hispanic wrapper from texas. the thing is, there are so many americans as part of this movement. i have to disagree with him. we had nothing to do with the supreme court ruling on political contributions. most of the people in the tea party movement are just like myself who have never been involved in politics. i do not know why he thinks
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that. it had nothing to do with the supreme court ruling. >> we have at wheat from chris johnson says the truth of the election is because of the tea party, republicans can no longer build an electable -- electable candidate. your thoughts? >> i think that is the furthest thing from the truth. honestly, the tea party is upset with the republican party because they feel like they put their establishment candidate up there. i do not agree with that. host: calling on our line for democrats, you are on "washington journal." caller: thank you for taking the call. thank you, miss amy. once you mention the tea party is more popular than the senate. where does that information come from?
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you also mentioned that the other party, or the president, that they do not want to touch the spending. why has the president mentioned he has ready to -- is ready to compromise. is the tea party ready to compromise at all? what kind of taxes would you accept to be opposed to about -- opposed? the aim of the president is to generate jobs and not inhibit the growth of the economy by taxation. specifically, what kind of taxes are you going to except and are you going to work with the president, compromise? guest: he asked about the polling and where i got that.
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i am referring to -- i do not have the specific poll. most people know congress' approval ratings are in the tank. that is what i am is referring to. in terms of compromise, compromise is not a bad word as long as you do not compromise on your principles. you have to find common ground and what is good for everybody. it is going to be a hit-take. like i said -- a give-take. like i said, it is not that one party have to become out as the winner. how can we come out winning? backing up up by the -- backing away from the fiscal cliff. that is what we need to do. this is what i will say.
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everybody wants to lay it on the tea party movement. the fact of the latter days, -- of the matter is under harry reid's leadership, the senate has not passed a -- the fact of the matter is, under harry reid's leadership, the senate has not passed a budget. the president has passed -- has presented three budgets. everyone of his budgets have gotten 0 votes, even from his own party. they have not reached across the aisle he the. i am tired of everybody putting it on the tea party -- they have not reached across the reachedeither. i am tired of everybody putting it on the tea party movement. caller: quick question. why wouldn't the elimination of tax loopholes and a flat tax rate, proposed by steve forbes, work with the more you earn,
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the more you pay? guest: i am not an economist. i am not an expert on this. we need tax reform. we have a complicated tax system. specifically, what kind of tax reform, i am not sure. we definitely need tax reform. host: otis is calling from prosperity, south carolina on our line for independents. calm first, i would like to say the my representative, -- caller: first, i would like to say that my representative, lindsey graham, has rescinded his pledge for the norquist pledge. we have some republicans finally realizing we have to get this deficit under control.
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if the deficit is doubled, that means george bush's part of the deficit is half. republicans have never wanted to pay their share of the debt he has created. we have to get somebody in there that is going to help pay the deficit. i am middle income. the last payroll deduction i got, i saw $6 more a week on my check. i would rather you take that $6 back and help pay the deficit off. i am tired of this war. bill clinton and george bush start two wars and do not want to fund them. here we are with the mess we have got. guest: i have to tell you, i am tired of people blaming it on bush. at his buddy says bush took us
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to war and the war is what created all of this debt. bush did not take us to war on his own. democrats voted for that war, too. congress voted for it. you cannot pay it all on george -- pin it all on george bush. under present obama's term as president, we have accumulated -- he has accumulated 1/3 of our debt, more of -- more than all of our presidents combined in american history. we cannot continue down this path. why don't we stop the blame game and figure out how to fix it? that is the thing. let's figure out how to fix it. let's let americans win. host: during one of the debates, that after all the republican candidates if they would be willing to put in $10
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in spending cuts and balance that up with $1 in tax revenue. each of them said no. is that something that you in the tea party could live with? is that a compromise that could work? guest: we have to see what everybody puts on the table. i do not speak for the entirety party movement. you have to see -- i have -- i do not speak for the entire tea party movement. we have to see what both sides are proposing. host: the next call comes from gail in indianapolis on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. i hope you guys are doing well. i want to make a comment. i am a democrat, but i cannot vote for barack obama. i am glad to see the tea party out there.
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we need a movement to stop the bad things are -- that are happening. when people commented that the government has nothing to do with this, i am sorry. they have a lot to do with it. the matter who is in there, when it is not going right, we need to step up and try to resolve it and find an issue. when i look at the gop and they talk about change, i think they are changing in the wrong direction. they need to go back and be the conservative people they used to be and the good people. when i heard the president say go out and vote in revenge, i thought that was a horrible statement for anyone to make. i believe there are a lot of people out here who are fraudulently voting. guest: i hate to that statement, too. vote for revenge, or wherever.
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i cannot remember how exactly he said it. party politicians got us into this mess. most of us supported mitt romney in this election cycle. we had a lot of democrats and independents joined with the tea party movement because they wanted fiscal responsibility. they want washington to live within their means. at the end of the day, i do not speak for the republican party. this is an issues-oriented movement. we want to hold both parties accountable. we have proven that by primarying republicans before. host: michelle is calling us from pennsylvania on our line for republicans. caller: i, -- hi, how are you? i have two comments. i support what the tea party is standing for. i get mixed messages from different he parties -- tea parties. tea party patriots said they did
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not support mix from -- support mitt romney. that accounted for a lot of people not coming out to support mitt. we lost a good opportunity to fix our economy. another point, i think the democrats, the media did a great job in painting mitt romney as a bad man. also, the tea party as being racist. host: amy kremer? guest: i agree. i feel that the media is biased. they were an arm of president obama's campaign. this again -- this benghazi thing.
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four americans lost their lives. our president goes to las vegas to raise money. he is out with beyonce and jay- z and he is more concerned with being an hip-hop and popular president. he did not hear it on the mainstream media. it is definitely bias there. i cannot speak for the tea party patriots. the majority of tea partiers across the country voted for mitt romney and worked their hearts and souls out to get out the vote for mitt romney and for the senate races. i would encourage people not to give up. host: in the new york post this morning, two quotes from the man who will be leading both sides. president obama says, we have to combine spending cuts with
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revenue. that is asking the wealthy to pay little more in taxes. house speaker john boehner says raising taxes will slow down our ability to create the jobs everyone says they want. keith is on our line for independents calling from north haven, connecticut. calm -- caller: i used to work for a tea party poll. a lot of people do not know what tea party stands for. can you elaborate on that? thank you. guest: we are an issues-oriented movement. we are focused on government responsibility. overall, we are not focused on the social issues.
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when you get down to local groups, you might get some local groups that focus on some social issues. the reason we have been so successful is that our strength comes from focusing on the fiscal issues. you are not getting everybody to agree on social issues. you cannot get everyone to agree on social issues in one party, let alone across party lines. it is not just the federal government. it is state government and local governments. people do not see it. you cannot cover everything. there have been a lot of victories on local and state level as well when the tea party has had an impact on what is going on. the movement is strong. we may not be out in the street holding up our big science like we were back in 2009 and early 2010, but we are still here. we are online and we are doing
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the work that is required to affect change. host: warren is calling from chattanooga, tennessee. caller: my concern is that the tea party says they are for the constitution. the tea party was absent when we saw these voter suppression laws go out. the tea party was totally silent. the tea party is a dying breed. in my lifetime, we will probably never see another white president in the office. host: amy kremer? guest: i did not know what voter suppression laws he is talking about. we should have free elections. i do not think showing voter id to vote -- i think people should have to show an id to vote.
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there is nothing wrong with that. what bothers me about his call is, why does everything come back to race? stop it. just focus on, all of us are americans. we have the greatest nation on earth. why is it all about race? it is ridiculous. we need to stop that. i totally disagree with his comments. it is frustrating. host: we have been tw -- have a tweet from victoria. amy kremer says president obama does not love america the way we do. do you think the president is not a patriot? guest: the present set in 2008 that he wants to fundamentally change america. -- the president said in 2008 that he wants to fundamentally change america. he was to change us into a
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european, a socialist country. if we do not rein in spending, we are going to be greece. i do not think he believes in capitalism. why would he wants to fundamentally change america it? we are the greatest nation on earth. why would you want to fundamentally change us? host: our last call for amy kremer come from fred in virginia beach, virginia. caller: i agree with the tea party and the comments she made about the president making the deficit for our country even worse. republicans or democrats, we need to come together. none of the small businesses want to spend any money because they are afraid of what to do
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as far as the taxes. small businesses make this country. if the president would sit down with both sides and listen instead of trying to make his party the number-one issue, it is about the people and jobs. he has not created any jobs. no jobs whatsoever. host: we will leave it there. amy kremer, you have the last word. guest: i have been crisscrossing the country with the tea party express. most people want us to figure it out because they want america to be successful. i hope the president and our senate in congress are able to figure this out and find that common ground so that we can
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remain the greatest nation on earth. we are the land of opportunity. we are a prosperous nation. that is what i am looking for. that is what most americans are looking for. it is not going to be easy. it is going to be some tough, bold decisions and not everybody is going to like it. we have to do what is best for america. host: amy kremer is the chairman of the tea party express. you can find out more about their organizations as your website. -- and their website. guest: thanks for having me. >> tomorrow, we will look at president obama's second term with tv and radio talk-show host bill press. then we will talk about the future of the republican party with chairman michael steele. and later, an update on
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afghanistan and reaction to president obama's reelection with in the country. daniel with the council of foreign relations is our guest. washington journal here on c- span. >> president obama will participate in the press -- wreath laying ceremony at memorial amphitheater. our coverage begins at 11 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> petraeus resigns over a fair comment decorated soldier was load -- lauded for iraq. joining us to talk to us about the story, on the phone, and jos, the white house reporter for politico. welcome to the program.
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tell us, how did this story break? it came about quickly after some discussion or some rumors started circulating yesterday that he might have been on his way out. >> yes, the first i heard of it was reports on ms nbc yesterday saying that he was involved in some discussions about his future with the white house and that that feature status was not entirely clear. at that point, what people thought was that the discussions probably had something to do with the episode in benghazi in september and, you know, the intelligence that flowed or failed to flow from that to the white house in a timely fashion. however, within the period of an hour or so, really while the white house briefing was taking place yesterday, it became clear it was something, at least on the surface, quite different
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than that, and within a short time we had statements from petraeus and from the director of national intelligence, jim clapper, saying that he would be leaving. the amazing thing really was that petraeus' statement explicitly acknowledged the reason he was leaving was because of an extramarital affair, which is pretty unusual thing to see in the formal announcement from a high-level official. host: you wrote yesterday, and we got this from the newjersey..com blog of the new jersey star ledger, so when petraeus fell from grace friday, the drop was a long one. it stunned the political world precisely because he was so widely regarded as the model modern soldier, a thinker in fatigues who married the daughter of a superintendent of his alma mater, west point, and earned a ph.d. at princeton. but neither his reputation nor
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his career could survive the shock of the extramarital affair he revealed in resigning from his post, a decision that came under the pressure from an f.b.i. investigation that threatened to make things even uglier, according to an intelligence community source who spoke to politico on the condition of anonymity. so tell us a little bit more, josh gerstein of the politico, tell us about this investigation by the f.b.i. and what's been the fallout so far in washington about the announcement that the general was going to resign from the c.i.a. guest: well, we still don't know too much of the detail about what was going on with the f.b.i. there are a lot of reports out there, and, in fact, it is true that part of this investigation by the f.b.i. had to do with the question of whether somebody was improperly accessing petraeus' personal email accounts. you know, however, the sources that we spoke to said that wasn't really the entirety of the investigation or the thing that really got it rolling. but at some point, for whatever reason, the f.b.i. became concerned that somebody was getting into his account. now, you can see a variety of
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reasons why they might be worried about that, being the head of the c.i.a.. he's certainly someone that you would not want hackers or foreign intelligence people getting into any of his accounts, personal or professional. the f.b.i. apparently was exploring that, and in the course of going through these emails, found a lot of material that seemed to indicate that he was engaged in some kind of an affair. i think it was not immediately clear because of the language in the emails what the precise nature of this relationship was, and it immediately drew the f.b.i.'s attention because, you know, if you have discussions going back and forth, you know, again, that could be some sort of code for a relationship with some sort of intelligence source or somebody that's gathering intelligence, and that's not apparently at all what went on here, but it was enough to bring this affair to the fore. in terms of the washington reaction, people were genuinely stunned, and some people said basically that petraeus shouldn't go.
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you had senate intelligence committee chairwoman dianne feinstein said in a statement she wished the president had not accepted his resignation. we're going to have a story up later this morning on politico talking about what it would have been like if petraeus stayed on despite the fact of this affair having been revealed, and i think the problem would have been, in addition to just the scandal nature of it, the perception that there was a double standard. we've had sort of similar incidents that have shut down other people's careers in recent years, and the c.i.a. director sometimes had to make decisions about somebody maybe who wasn't candid about a relationship with a third-country foreign national or some other aspect of their personal life, and he would be in a position of potentially dismissing someone from the c.i.a. for that kind of conduct. that would be an awkward situation to say the least if he himself had engaged in some perhaps unreported relationship
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with somebody other than his wife. host: earlier this year, in fact, last month, you worked a story detailing the ex-c.i.a. officer who pled guilty to leaking information regarding the interrogator of al qaeda leader abu zubaydah. in the article, you quote, you and kevin cirilli quote general petraeus, the general saying that oaths do matter, and there are indeed consequences for those who believe they are above the laws to protect our fellow officers and enable american intelligence agencies to operate with the requisite degree of secrecy. accordingly, i thank our legal
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specialists for their contributions to this effort, and i appreciate the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the department of justice in bringing this case to a successful conclusion. now, as far as i understand, there's been no talk about whether or not the general was involved in anything criminal, but do you think that that statement sort of foretold what was to follow and how the justice department, in effect, would be involved in his resignation? guest: well, i think the two situations are different, quite different, as far as what we know right now. as you say, there's no indication that petraeus leaked any classified information or provided any classified information to paula broadwell, the woman reported to be involved here. however, i do think you have an appearance problem and an optics problem when the intelligence community -- and indeed, congress itself says that it's currently on a crusade to stop leaks and improper contacts with the media and unauthorized disclosures, and then you have the head of the central intelligence agency, at least for some time, have a relationship with a journalist that was not publicly known. now, broadwell is not a traditional journalist.
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she's a former military officer herself who was writing a dissertation that later became a book, but it was ultimately a book that was co-authored with a reporter for "the washington post," so broadly speaking, she's a member of the media. you know, you had senator feinstein yesterday saying that petraeus shouldn't go, but just a few months earlier, senator feinstein's committee was proposing legislation that would require anybody in the intelligence community to report any single time -- or every single time they had a contact with a member of the media. so, again, all these discussions about leaks and about people's relationships with outsiders would have been so much more awkward if petraeus' relationship here came to public light. what's not clear to me right now is whether it would necessarily have come to public life or why he acknowledged it to the white house a day or two after the election. you know, perhaps there was some shoe to drop here or there was some reason why this matter would have come to public
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attention, and then therefore, could have led to sort of charges of hypocrisy and double standards. host: part of the speculation that you allude to is the fact that the general was scheduled to testify next week in congress to what he knew and how he was involved in the dissemination of information regarding the attack on our consulate in benghazi, and the speculation is that the shoe was allowed to drop in order to keep him from testifying next week. is that going to be the case? will he not testify next week? or is he still going to be called in front of the intelligence committee? guest: well, the fact that he would be the former director, departing director, doesn't mean he can't be called. but my understanding is they're going to send up the acting director of the c.i.a., who was the deputy director there, to testify about this issue. that said, you know, i could
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see him being called, could see petraeus being called in the future if he has relevant information. so people are thinking that his exit is a great way to, you know, shut down completely any inquiry into benghazi, i don't think that's likely to happen. ver, you know, a lot of people in the intelligence world do think that the punishment here that's being visited on petraeuis somewhat larger than what is usually applied in these situations, and that, in fact, sometimes affairs are allowed or reported and go on among people at the c.i.a. and never cause a kind of work action or anything along those lines. so those folks especially are inclined to believe that there's something more here that the white house may have been eager to try to clear the cloud over benghazi by getting rid of petraeus, but i don't know, those explanations are a little bit lacking to me, because petraeus was so well liked on capitol hill, you had the statement from feinstein, you have all kinds of other people that regularly express praise
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for him. you have republicans who at one point wanted him to run for the presidency and thought that he would pretty much win that office almost by acclimation if he just threw his hat into the ring. so i'm not sure if he's the ideal person to become a sacrificial lamb to sort of end congressional inquiries into what happened in the attack in benghazi. host: there's already been discussion around washington about who would replace general petraeus as the head of the c.i.a. among the folks being discussed are the acting director, michael morell, as you alluded to, also jane harman, former u.s. representative, now head of the woodrow wilson international center for scholars, former chair of the house intelligence committee, i believe. and also, john brennan, homeland security advisor to president obama. talk to us about who may be stepping in to fill the shoes of general petraeus.
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guest: well, you know, morell is considered sorted of the most likely candidate because, you know, having been the deputy director, he could relatively easily just step in to the directorship, very, very intimately familiar with the agency. the other people are all possibilities, but you need to remember that intelligence jobs have been a little bit hard for the obama white house to fill recently. you had director of national intelligence, jim clapper, nominated some time ago to run the overall intelligence operation and it was reportedly very difficult for the white house to find somebody to take that job. it was reportedly offered to several other people before clapper finally took it. so it would be interesting to see who would be on the list to do this. whitelso a job where the house, you know, has not given the c.i.a. director a huge amount of latitude.
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controlpretty strong from the white house of what the c.i.a. does and where. and then the final thing is, you really would need someone with a strong relationship with congress. if you look at who served in this job before, leon panetta and petraeus, one thing they have in common is that they both were very, very well regarded on capitol hill. their word was basically gold up there. and if they said something was happening or not happening, or that it would be resolved or gotten to the bottom of, members on both sides of the aisle pretty much took that for granted. so you'd want people that could fulfill that. former congresswoman harman would probably fit into that category, very well respected and a very well known voice on intelligence and military issues. i think the question would be whether she would want to come back from her job heading the woodrow wilson center so soon after she basically quit the congress. john brennan, the president's
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counterterrorism advisor, would be another choice that i think would probably be very easily confirmed on capitol hill. however, the problem is the president has really come to rely on brennan as his right hand man throughout his presidency on all the issues of counterterrorism that arise, and those are not all c.i.a. issues. i think the president would probably be very reluctant to have brennan leave his side and go work full-time at the c.i.a. and only have him sort of around occasionally. some of the other names on the list are possibilities, but the question would be what the confirmation process would look like with congress, because both brennan and tom donlan have been considered for various jobs, but the administration seems to have reluctant to put them through a confirmation process because of either issues or resistance that they might face in the senate. host: josh gerstein is the white house reporter for political coast and has been talking about the resignation yesterday of c.i.a. director, general